A lecture on Vedanta was going on. Mr. Jhunjhunwala also decided to attend the discourse. The speaker enunciated, “The Vedanta teaches us a great truth. It says– 'There is nothing like you and me, yours and mine. Everything is Maya. Everything is in you and you are in everything. It's all one.'” Mr. Jhunjhunwala was greatly impressed by those words. “Aha! What a great philosophy!” he exclaimed. By the time he reached back home, he was firmly determined to practice Vedanta in his life.
When Mr. Jhunjhunwala got up the next morning, the Vedantic philosophy was still high on his mind. He kept thinking, “I am everywhere. Everything is in me!...” But, soon, his stomach started giving signals of hunger. Mr. Jhunjhunwala decided to move to his favourite restaurant to have something delicious in the breakfast. When the waiter arrived, he ordered for a rich, grand breakfast. The waiter looked at the menu surprisingly as it appeared to be an order for four people. Anyway, after sometime, he came back with all that was ordered. Mr. Jhunjhunwala's eyes danced with joy and his mouth watered upon seeing the tasty food items displayed in front of him on the table. 'Wow! This food is me and I am the food. We are one… Vedanta, you see,' saying thus he relished everything one after the other till he was full. The waiter came with the bill and left it on his table.
Mr. Jhunjhunwala glanced at the bill. “There is no difference between his and mine… Why then this bill?” Thinking thus, he got up from the chair to go back home. When he reached the counter, coincidently the Manager received a very important call and was thus distracted. Mr. Jhunjhunwala professed his Vedantic philosophy again– “Who should pay to whom? All are one…,” and was about to exit. However, his eyes fell upon the cashbox of the Manager. He touched his pocket which was hardly carrying anything. Once again, his Vedantic practice surfaced– “There is no such thing as his cash and my cash. The one who earns is me and the one who spends is also me. So, where is the difference?” With that, Mr. Jhunjhunwala put his hand into the cashbox. Taking out a handful of notes, he kept them in his pocket and started to walk away. But obviously, the Manager raised an alarm and people ran after Mr. Jhunjhunwala to catch him.
The moment they caught him, Mr. Jhunjhunwala looked at them and lectured, “Hey man! Who are you going to catch? The one who catches is you and the one caught is also you. The one who served is you and the one who ate is also you. Everything is Maya. So, why are you running after me?” The people were shocked to hear such a thing. It was for the first time that they had heard something like that from someone stealing and running away. Unable to understand what to do, they decided to take him to the court.
When the Judge interrogated, Mr. Jhunjhunwala was still under the influence of the Vedantic philosophy. Despite several attempts of the judge to make him understand, Mr. Jhunjhunwala kept repeating his words. In the end, the judge decided to teach him in his style only. So, he announced 50 lashes for him as the punishment. When the first lash hit Mr. Jhunjhunwala, he screamed with pain. At the second lash, he blurted out, “Why are you beating me?” The judge retorted, “Don't worry, Mr. Jhunjhunwala! Who can beat you? The one who is beating is also you and the one who is being hit is also you. This lash is you and you are the lash. Everything is Maya… Vedanta, you see!!” “No! Please forgive me. I don't want to practice Vedantic philosophy anymore…”– were the words of Mr. Jhunjhunwala in the end.
Friends, this is what happens when we try to stick to the words alone, failing to catch the real import of the scriptural teachings. Since our childhood, we simply keep reciting the scriptures, parroting them throughout our lives. But, remember, with such an attitude, we can never gain anything substantial. Instead, landing up in troubles like Mr. Jhunjhunwala or even worse, we ultimately waste the precious human birth.
One can understand the scriptural injunctions not through his mind or intellect but through self-realisation. Our scriptures necessitate inner experience for grasping the true intent of the insightful teachings of the Masters. The holy teachings contained in these books of wisdom are the subject of experience and not cramming. One does not need to imitate them; rather, one has to live them and demonstrate them in one's life.
The feeling and realisation of 'Oneness' is actually a spiritual state, which one acquires only when he/she undergoes a set of discipline or mode called 'Self-Realisation– Brahm Gyan'. Only after initiation into this eternal spiritual science through the grace of a genuine holy Guru, one sees and experiences the divine self (atman) within, which is also the universal entity dwelling in all beings. With constant Dhyaan (meditation) on this universal self, realisation of 'Oneness' itself dawns on the aspirant; thereby making him a befitting adherent of Vedantic Philisophy. So friends, don't just intellectually cram the words of wisdom, try to practically demonstrate them by following the path of Brahm Gyan under the tutelage of a genuine spiritual teacher.